Ganesh Man Singh’s Resolutions:
In the months of February and March of 1990 AD, the People’s Movement in Nepal had spread across the nation like wildfire. Planned in three phases, the movement was successful in bringing the government’s attention towards the demands of the people.
In April, 1990, towards the end of the revolution, Ganesh Man Singh made three resolutions from a hospital bed in Bir Hospital:
- A final push: With information being received that King Birendra is softening, Singh decided that one final push was required – in the form of the biggest political rally ever seen in Kathmandu.
- What if the government uses force? As Supreme Leader of the movement, this question constantly haunted Singh. After all, several lives had been lost during the movement, and Singh was to be answerable in the near future for their demise. The situation was such that Singh could not discuss his worry with either Krishna Prasad Bhattarai or ManMohan Adhikari. Therefore, he determined that the political rally much be of such magnitude that authorities cannot muster the courage to pull their triggers at them.
- Owing to the impact of the movement, the possibility of an invitation for a dialogue from King Birendra could come anytime. The king could also suggest holding such dialogues in foreign soil. Singh would say no to such a proposition. In the past, the tripartite agreement held between the King Tribhuvan, Rana leaders and Nepali Agreement, there had been significant intervention by India. Singh wished to avoid a similar situation arguing that when national dialogues are held in foreign soil, there is a possibility of intervention by the host state.
In terms of the possibility of a dialogue, Singh was also determined that he would not participate in such dialogues.
“The struggle has been so real, so many people of died, and now there is no space for dialogue left anymore”, Singh would say. “Now, the king must agree to our demands, and then we can work out its execution together”.
King Birendra’s reckoning:
While Ganesh Man Singh made his resolutions, King Birendra had some of his own reckoning to do. His government had largely underestimated the magnitude of the People’s Movement.
- 30 years of Panchayat rule had been unsuccessful in connecting with the people’s sentiment in Nepal, therefore the widespread anti-Panchayat revolution. If the people wanted change, it might be a good idea to abolish the Panchayat system, and pave way for a constitutional monarchy.
- If an agreement had to be made with the leaders of the movement, why delay such a task?
- Therefore, to pave way for an agreement, Singh dissolved the pro-Panchayat cabinet, and appointed a much liberal ministry who had prior relations with Nepali Congress and other leaders. By doing so, King Birendra hoped the revolutionaries would be more open to a fruitful dialogue.
Curfew in Kathmandu:
The new cabinet comprised of Lokendra Bahadur Chand as Prime Minister, Nain Bahadur Swar, Pashupati Shumsher J B Rana, Achyut Raj Regmi as ministers. The new cabinet immediately sprang into action, but first they had to quell the protests. Therefore, on 7th April, 1990 a valley-wide curfew was imposed. Sadly, an elderly lady in Lalitpur, who had unknowingly stepped outside of her home, became the target of a bullet, and was killed.
In the afternoon, the ministry started introducing changes to send a message to the leaders of the People’s Movement that the government was ready for change. They took the decision of releasing all political leaders including Sahana Pradhan, Padma Ratna Tuladhar and Daman Nath Dhungana.
Similarly, newly appointed Prime Minister Chand paid a goodwill visit to Singh at Bir Hospital on the same day.